Fireside Chat with Pathwright

Greg and Mark are the Co-Founders of Pathwright, an online education platform built with Firebase and hosted on Firebase Hosting.

What is Pathwright?

Pathwright is a platform for online education that allows anyone to teach and sell online courses under their own name and brand.

What inspired you to build the app?

Education is something that is easy for us to get excited about. Most of our team is comprised of former or current professional educators. Drawing from past experiences, we saw a great opportunity to fix some of the problems we saw with online learning.

Most software developed for education has been designed to supplement classroom use, not to deliver a full education online. Additionally, the user experience for teachers and students is often very poor. We started Pathwright to give forward thinking teachers an easier, more attractive way to share knowledge online.

How are you using Firebase in your app?

The most heavily trafficked system being powered by Firebase is our notification system. It allows us to notify students and teachers about important events that are happening in real time.

Secondly, we use Firebase to host our marketing website. We previously hosted our website on Amazon S3 behind CloudFront, but the cost of using our SSL certificate with CloudFront was significant in comparison to Firebase.

Given that we are a small team, making use of Firebase has saved time and money from a development and operational standpoint. We have been able to continue working on our core platform instead of hassling with the additional infrastructure.

Since Pathwright was one of the first production apps to use Firebase Hosting, do you have any feedback for other developers using this service?

The automatic provisioning of SSL certificates was a time-saver, and a great value. Additionally the documentation was simple, and the whole process took about ten minutes from start to finish.

Since we were a very early adopter, we contacted support to ask about a feature that we didn’t see available yet. Firebase support responded quickly and helped us get a workaround in place within 24 hours, allowing us to re-launch with Firebase almost immediately. Customer service was fast, friendly, and thorough.

Firebase Hosting has been great for us and our customers. We recommend it without hesitation.

What other technologies are you using?

On the server side we’re running on Amazon Web Services. Some of the more critical pieces of our stack include Linux, Postgres, Python, Django.

On the client side we develop in CoffeeScript, Sass, and Backbone.js with Marionette.

What are some of your favorite use cases of Pathwright?

We have a variety of customers covering a wide range of topics on Pathwright. Some of our favorites include Integral Calc, GetElected and Ligonier Connect.